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We have TBs of images that we want to migrate to SharePoint Online - we are looking for some recommendation of what type of library would be the best fit for this. We need the below functioality in the images library after migration in SP Online:

  • Tags can be added to each image file
  • EXIF data from the images will able to be exposed (for filtering and search).

2 Answers 2

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You have several topics to address. Let's start with the data volume. You will need to use tools to upload such a data volume in a reliable way. Using File Explorer or OneDrive for Business (ODFB) client will not work. For example, 3 TB of images each consuming 5 MB storage corresponds with 600000 files. This is beyond the limit of ODFB client.

In addition, not many tools support extracting of EXIF metadata during uploading. OOTB SharePoint does not expose EXIF metadata directly and the values cannot be used for searching, viewing and filtering. Using Power Apps / Power Automate it is possible to expose/extract EXIF properties after uploading but firing off 600k Power Automate flows does not sound attractive to me.

There are migrations tools that extract EXIF metadata (and other metadata schemes like XMP, IPTC, ICS) during uploading and capture them into SharePoint columns. See e.g. here (all the EXIF metadata listed in the bottom section can be extracted and stored in SharePoint columns). The SharePoint columns can then be used for searching, viewing, filtering etc.. The tools can also be used to extract the location from images with GPS details. Some tools also support GeoTagging to set location details for files without GPS details during uploading.

The choice for a library type (picture, asset, ...) depends on what you want to do with the images after they have been uploaded. See What is the difference between Document Library, Picture Library & Asset Libray? for a similar discussion.

Hope this helps,

Paul | SLIM Applications

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  • Thanks for the detailed answer, I agree with your solution however, I have some questions - if we migrate the images using the tool the EXIF metadata will be migrated as well, then what will happen if we upload any images manually that time EXIF metadata information will be missing right for the manual upload?
    – SP 2022
    Nov 19, 2020 at 5:35
  • If you upload images using the standard SharePoint then these images will indeed not have EXIF metadata. There are browser based tools so this can be done by the end-users. Just matter of dragging a bunch of images from file explorer (or Finder).
    – Paul
    Nov 19, 2020 at 12:55
  • I think you meant, using the browser-based tool we can upload the image to the SharePoint Online library, if that so, could you please name some names of the tool? We are open to use any third-party tool for this purpose - our intention to upload the images along with the image metadata (Exif information, tags, etc).
    – SP 2022
    Nov 25, 2020 at 13:37
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    The collab365 web site contains an extensive list. See directory.collab365.community/office365-sharepoint/… it also contains browser-based solutions. e.g. directory.collab365.community/listing/slim-companion-explorer
    – Paul
    Nov 25, 2020 at 16:31
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Per my knowledge, for now SharePoint Online no longer supports reading EXIF data from images. You can vote in user Voice here: https://sharepoint.uservoice.com/forums/329214-sites-and-collaboration/suggestions/36665011-bring-back-sharepoint-online-image-metadata-extrac

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